Monday, July 31, 2006

of summer festivals...

Well, Summer is officially here. I know that sounds strange for everyone living in America. You are thinking, well yeah, summer's been here for like 2 months already! Well, Japan's strange. Summer is just now starting. And I get a nice vacation to go with it. The weathers been really strange this year though. Rainy season started early and lasted late (causing some unfortunate flooding in some parts of the country). And the past few days have been suprisingly cool. Such strange weather...

Anyway, today was my first day of vacation. These past weeks seemed really busy, but I suppose they were pretty normal. My classes are going well. My students still seem to like me. Some are plotting my marriage to make me stay in Japan forever. The parents seem to like me and the kids have finally warmed up to me. I've fallen pretty much into a nice routine, which for me is not so great. It means all my bad habits are in full swing. I need to work on that a bit this summer.

Things with the band are still good. I really feel included. Sometimes they even call me when I'm not there to make sure that I know where they are. It's really a nice feeling. I will have another "home party" this month for them. I'll cook hamburgers. Hopefully it works out. This of course forces me to do some major cleaning of my house. Which is good because my house definitely needs to be cleaned.

Today I saw some small festival celebrations happening. I guess the main ones start tomorrow and the next day. Last year it was very interesting for me to see the festivals. But this year, it just makes me sad. Watching the people carrying the heavy shrines... It just makes me realize again and again how sad it is. The people are just like the shrines, pretty and happy on the outside, but empty and hollow on the inside with no power. I ache so much for the people here. It's times like this that I feel so small and helpless. There are so many people who need to join God's family. I want them all to be saved. But what can I do? Sometimes I feel happy with the work I am doing here, the relationships I am building, the classes I am teaching, the conversations I am having. But it's still so small. Have I really done anything at all? I want so much to see this country freed from the false gods that hold it captive. The only thing I can do is pray. It seems like such a small thing. I love this country so much.

I don't know if I should go out tomorrow or not. The festivals might overwhelm me. But I just found out I'm meeting someone on Wed. in the middle of the festivals. I guess I'll have to face it sooner or later.

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